When will the NSA finally stop spying on me?
AUSTIN (AP) The head of the nation’s largest private prison company is taking a stand against what he sees as a violation of his constitutional rights, after a U.S. appeals court ruled that the government can keep secret his company’s use of the so-called Stellar Wind surveillance program to target terrorism suspects.
The U.K.-based company, G4S, says in a filing Friday that it “has a responsibility to keep its customers safe” and that the surveillance program violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.N. charter.
The company said it’s also seeking a stay on the government’s order to end the program.
G4S CEO Paul Stephenson said he’s “concerned” about the court decision, which comes after a federal judge said last month that the company violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments by sharing its intelligence with the National Security Agency.
“We do believe that there’s no place for a private company to have access to the communications of Americans without probable cause,” Stephenson said in a statement.
“We will continue to fight to ensure that Americans’ communications are protected in a way that protects their privacy and rights.”
Stephenson said in the filing that he will ask a federal appeals court to review the case.
“I will be asking the court to reconsider its decision and the government must come to terms with G4s obligations to its customers,” he said.
“The government cannot hide behind secrecy to avoid accountability for its illegal actions.”
The company said that the court order “takes us further into the dark ages of the national security state.”
It said the U,S.
government’s surveillance program was illegal and unconstitutional, and that it was “not just the most serious case of abuse, but the only one.”
The appeals court ruling was issued last month in the U